By Keira Flowers
This October we bring awareness to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, also known as “Go Purple Day”. As we all should note, domestic violence ranges from physical, mental, psychological, and financial abuse, to “threats, stalking, emotional and verbal abuse, forced sex, and financial manipulation” according to BetterHelp. As domestic violence has a wide range inflicted by another person, we need to be more mindful of the people we should look out for not only on the streets but also in our households or around us. According to National Statistics, “1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men have experienced some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner.” This shows that not only is domestic violence from strangers on the street, but we all need to be careful who we surround ourselves with, and be courteous about our surroundings.
How could we support this to stand with the people who have experienced some sort of domestic violence? We could:
Wear a purple ribbon (symbolizes bravery and strength)
Attend events and talks
Support fundraisers and community services
Educate yourself and teach the community
A lot of misconceptions are present within these types of topics such as going to couples counseling to fix the abuse that is going on. However this is not the case, couples counseling can not help the perpetrator, the survivor can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or can attend certified family violence intervention programs where they are in a safe place to talk about different experiences with people who have gone through the same things. There are also some programs that provide insight and thorough information on what you could do if you're in a dangerous situation.
Another misconception is that the survivor never tried to leave their abusive relationship. However, we should never blame the survivor. To start off, we have no idea what went on behind closed doors, so we can not say that they did not try to leave. We have to be mindful and remember that they were living with manipulation, fear, and threats possibly in their day-to-day life. So, we do not have the right to say that the survivors did nothing to try and leave the relationship.
An additional misconception is that the abuser had just lost their temper, and things got out of hand. Only, this is not the case. If someone puts their hands on another person, this does not assert ‘losing their temper’ or ‘catching them on a bad day’, this is their way of asserting control and power, so they can inflict fear and regret into someone else’s head. It had nothing to do with their emotions.
Lastly, another very popular misconception is that drugs and alcohol cause intimate partner violence. This should not be the case. If someone loves a person enough, they will not abuse drugs and alcohol, putting the survivor in a state of fear. Although some drugs might increase violent behavior, this still doesn't excuse their part in knowing that they might put you in a state where you will not be safe.
Make sure to raise awareness about domestic violence around the world so people know what to do when in a dangerous situation. If you or someone you know is currently or was in an abusive relationship, be sure to step up and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 800-799-7233